Bangladesh – one of the world’s leading exporters of readymade garments has shown marginal decline in import of Textile and Garment machinery in FY 2013-13 (July-June). The data released by the Bangladesh Ministry of Commerce indicates, during FY 2012-13 textile machinery imports reduced by 11.84% to US$ 349.73 million compared to US$ 396.67 million in FY 2011-12. However, garment machinery imports in FY 2012-13 have seen a rise of 4.32% to US$ 361.98 million as against US$ 346.98 million in 2011-12.
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has justified the growth of garment machinery imports with 200 new factories set up in 2012-13. As per BGMEA, the country has around 5600 garment factories. Overall imports of Textile, Jute, Leather and Garment machinery including import reduced by 6.1% to US$ 738.81 million during FY 2012-13 compared to US$ 786.89 million in last fiscal.
The textile and apparel industry in has gone through some turbulent waters in the last financial year that has affected the investment in the country’s largest industrial sector. The Tazreen Fashion fire in late November’12 that gutted the factory and 117 factory workers tarnished the country’s image to the world. While the industry was recovering from the Tazreen inferno shock, a series of incidents including the worst ever factory disaster in recent years – the Rana Plaza collapse demotivated the industry in May’13.
It would be also worthwhile to mention the series of political demonstration and unrest towards the second half of the financial year as well as intermittent factory worker unrest for increased wage adversely affected investments. However, the Bangladesh has registered growth in RMG export in the 2012-13 to US$ 21.51 billion compared to US$ 19.09 billion in 2011-12.